A Pennsylvania woman accused of executing her own children by shooting them in the head inside their home earlier this year has agreed to plead guilty to murder charges. That’s according to an announcement by the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office cited in a report by Pittsburgh CBS affiliate KDKA. Prosecutors had previously been seeking the death penalty against Krisinda Bright for the February killings of 16-year-old Jeffrey “JJ” Bright and 22-year-old Jasmine Cannady.
According to the report, Beaver County District Attorney David J. Lozier said that Bright will plead guilty to two counts of first-degree murder. Each count will carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison. JJ was reportedly a transgender boy, and Jasmine was reportedly non-binary. The deaths of the two victims were especially mourned by advocates in their communities.
Bright in September pleaded not guilty to the horrific slayings that shocked the community.
The DA’s office last week reportedly held discussions with representatives for the victims’ families and Bright’s defense attorney to reach a deal that would not involve Bright going before a jury.
The DA’s office did not immediately respond to an email from Law&Crime seeking additional details on the plea agreement or why prosecutors have reversed their stance on planning to seek the death penalty.
As previously noted by Law&Crime, Bright was arrested in February after police say she used a handgun to shoot and kill her children. She then left the unloaded gun on her dining room table, called 911 to confess, and waited on the front porch for officers to arrive at her home on Maplewood Avenue in Ambridge.
Upon arrival, officers asked Bright if she was bleeding. She allegedly said she wasn’t, explaining to police that the blood on her hands, arms, and clothing was from her slain children.
According to a criminal complaint, Bright waived her Miranda rights in writing and agreed to speak with the police in an interview room. The documents say Bright admitted to shooting Cannady while the young woman was lying in bed upstairs. She then said she went downstairs, pointed her gun at JJ, and pulled the trigger; however, the gun didn’t fire.
JJ then pleaded with his mother, saying, “[p]lease don’t shoot[;] I’m gonna call the police,” per the complaint.
But the complaint says Bright told police she “fixed” the gun soon thereafter and proceeded to shoot JJ in the face. When she realized JJ wasn’t dead, she went back upstairs, got another gun, and again shot JJ “in the head because she didn’t want [JJ] to suffer,” the complaint document says.
Crime scene investigators found both victims with apparent gunshot wounds to the face and head.
In the aftermath of the shooting, prosecutors decided to seek the death penalty due to the aggravating factors presented by Bright’s alleged crime. Under state law, a person “who commit[s] murder either before or at the time of another murder” is subject to capital punishment.
DA Lozier emphasized the fact that Bright’s statements to first-responders showed she was “very conscious and knowing” in her actions.
Bright is currently scheduled to appear before a judge and formally enter her guilty plea on Dec. 16 at 1:30 p.m., the Beaver County Times reported. An online court docket, however, lists her next court date as Dec. 14.
[image via Beaver County, Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Office]
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